How to Save An Overwatered Pothos? – Common Signs & More


A pothos in a pot on the article How Do You Save An Overwatered Pothos

Pothos make a great indoor plant and are tropical in nature. They require frequent watering and sometime people often overwater them thinking they need more water.

However, an overwatered pothos and an underwatered pothos has similar effects.

Make sure that your plant has a well-drained soil and if the soil is moist just keep a look out that the soil should not be too soggy.

If the pothos is overwatered, then it will be more prone to root rot and so you should always try to avoid overwatering your pothos.

A major cause of your pothos becoming ill or even dying is overwatering of the plant.

It is therefore important to make sure that your plant does not stay in water for too long and although this plant is very easy to care for there are still some things you need to ensure so save your plant from any damage!

The original name of pothos is Epipremnum aureum and is also known as ‘devils’ eye’. So, if you’re looking for ways to save your overwatered pothos then you have come to the right place. Let’s take a look at how to save it!

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Overwatered VS Underwatered Pothos

A hanging pothosOverwatering your pothos is a major cause of your plant changing its color and the effect it has on its health.

This will affect your plant and put stress on the roots of your plant and can cause root rot if left waterlogged. An overwatered pothos will turn yellow in color and then the leaves will turn brown.

You will also see that the foliage of the plant has become soft, and limp and you might also see some spots or water blisters on the foliage of the leaves.

Another sign of an overwatered pothos is if there’s too much water standing at the root of your plant you will see that there’s a strong bad odor.

This is because due to too much water the roots of the plant get suffocated and this will cause root rot which is turn will cause the bad smell.

Although an underwatered and an overwatered plants has the same signs you will usually see the leaves of your underwatered plant turning brown and may start to look wilted.

The leaves will start to feel dry and crisp and it might start to have a wrinkled appearance. If your plant has been kept without water for a long time you will see that your plant will start to look smaller.

This is because when you don’t give them enough water the leaves of the plant start to take extra water from the ground exerting themselves too much.

Since plants lose water through their foliage due to evaporation if you leave the plant in the sun for a very long time it will cause dehydration in your plant.

If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on how to make a pothos climb.

What Are the Common Signs Of An Overwatered Pothos?

An overwatered pothos will usually start giving off some signs that it is not a happy plant.

You might see the leaves of your plant turning yellow and then brown in most cases but another thing to look out for a overwatered plant is that might start to curl inwards and also start looking wrinkled.

Another major sign of an overwatered pothos is root rot. You will get to know that there’s a root rot in your plant because there might be a bad smell or an odor coming from your plant.

This is because the minerals are not reaching the roots properly due to too much standing water.

How Do You Save An Overwatered Pothos?

Now that we know the signs of an overwatered pothos, now we can look at how to save them.

Check your Pothos has the Right Amount of Water

To first check the problem with your plant you need to make sure that you know the excess water it has.

If you see that the water is stagnant then the main cause of and overwatered pothos is due to drainage.

If you have a vinyl or a plastic pot you can easily make holes in it however, if you have a ceramic pot then you will need to get a bigger pot to avoid any drainage problems.

Also if you feel that your plant is overwatered, it would be best to stop fertilizing your plant as well as this will cause more damage to your plant.

Remove The Pothos Plant from it’s Pot 

Another good thing you can do is to remove the plant from the pot and check for the damage.

This will help you to assess the damage and see if your plant can be saved or not.

Remove The Soil From the Pothos’s Roots 

Once you remove the plant for the pot now try to remove as much soil from around your plant as possible.

If you see that the soil is still very wet this can affect the roots of your plant.

Also, you don’t have to use this soil again since it can damage other plants as well so the best thing to do is to throw this soil in order to save your plants from any further damage.

Cut the Rotten Roots Off

A healthy root of a plant looks firm and if cut from the middle you will see white color in the middle.

However, if the root your plant is overwatered it will feel soggy and when you cut it, it will be black or brown from inside.

For this reason, you need to cut off the rotten roots with a sharp knife to avoid the spread of the root rot to other parts of your plant.

Use A Fungicide on your Pothos

Another thing you can do to protect your plant is to use a fungicide. This will ensure that your plant stays healthy and away from root rot. Also remove all the dead leaves from your plant.

Repot Your Pothos Plant

The last thing you should do is to repot your plant. Use a new pot to place your plant and put some stones or gravel at the bottom of it.

Make sure that your pot has proper drainage and don’t water your plant for one week after placing it in the new pot.

Also, once you start watering your plant make sure that you follow a proper watering routine so that your plant does not become overwatered again.

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How To Dry Out an Overwatered Pothos?

A golden pothos

It is not difficult to dry out an overwatered pothos if you catch the problem early on. However, if the water is kept in the pot for too long then it might be difficult to dry out the plant.

The first thing you need to do is to check the amount of water there is in the pot. If there’s not much water, then that’s a good sign since you can save your overwatered pothos.

However, one you look at the extent of the damage to your plant then you need to plan your next step accordingly.

Drain out all the excess water and check if the drainage holes of your pot are working properly. Next thing you should do is to stop watering your plant for some weeks after you drain out all the excess water.

It will be even better if you expose the plant to sunlight so that the plants dry up quickly. Another thing you can do is to dig and overturn the soil.

This will ensure that the roots of your plant are getting proper oxygen and overturning will also expose the moist area to outside improving your chances of drying out the soil.

Now look for any damaged leaves and cut them off. Any yellow or brown leaves should be cut off since they will eventually die so it is better to cut them off beforehand.

However, keep the healthy leaves intact! One more good thing you can do to save your pothos is to repot the plant.

Take the plant out of the pot and place it in another pot to save your plant. Repot it in a new pot with fresh soil for a healthy growth of your plant.

If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on can a pothos live outside?

How To Set Up a Proper Water Schedule?

One thing we can all agree on is that pothos love water but not too much! It is always better to set up a water schedule that will ensure that your plant gets just the right amount of nutrients without giving it too much water.

Even if you water them more at one point don’t worry because the most that will happen is that your plant might lose some leaves, but it is also quick to recover.

A good measure to see if your pothos need any water or not is to poke your finger in the soil and if the soil is dry then it means it needs a watering. You can also use a moisture meter to check the moisture of the soil.

Pothos also tend to droop a little when they need water and that might be a great reminder that your pothos need water. So, should you follow a strict watering schedule when it comes to your plant?

Well, no in my opinion it is always better to not stick to a watering schedule and rather follow the cues of your plant to tell you if it needs water or not.

Since there are some factors which might affect your watering schedule hence it is better to not follow one. Some factors include the seasonal changes, since plants need less water in winters as compared to summers.

Another factor that affects the watering schedule of your plant is the light they are getting. If the sun is shining bright then it might be time to increase the water intake for your plant.

Temperature and humidity also play a big role in the way your plant requires water. Since in hot temperature your plant will require more water than in milder and humid conditions.

If you take all of the factors in account and then decide to set a water schedule for your plant, then ideally it would be better to water it once every one to two weeks.

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Final Thoughts

A golden pothosPothos are extremely easy to care for and is the star of the houseplants. It does not require too much effort but still makes a great plant for you to keep anywhere around the house and for decoration.

These plants enjoy a wide range of environments and they do well in bright light as well as indirect sunlight. Although they love rich and nutrient soil, but they will do equally good in poor soil.

You can keep this plant around your office or anywhere where there’s less sunlight since they do love less sunlight and can thrive well in it too!

They are also a favorite for many people since this plant can be grown in water or even dry soil. You can take cutting from a mother plant and root it in water to be kept as a houseplant.

Pothos are great to use indoor and outdoor and since they do not require too much care even if you’re a beginner in the world of gardening.

Overwatered or underwatered, both these things won’t be so good for your plant and hence even if you can’t follow a strict watering regime for your plant you should at least make sure that your plant gets enough water to be happy and for it to strive and thrive!

Before you go, here are some more related articles I encourage you to read below to help solve more of your gardening issues:

Pothos vs scindapsus

Pothos vs monstera

Hawaiian Pothos vs Golden Pothos

Pothos N Joy vs Pearls and Jade

How Fast do Pothos Grow

Why do Pothos Leaves Drip Water

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